Backgammon – Three Basic Strategies

[ English ]

In extraordinarily simple terms, there are three main strategies used. You need to be agile enough to hop between game plans quickly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of creating a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you can manage, to barricade in your opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most adequate procedure at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anyplace inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as fast as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. For example, if your challenger tosses an early two and shifts one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play 6/1 six/one 8/3 8/3. Your challenger is now in big-time dire straits because they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or more pieces in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor is a position filled by at least 2 of your checkers.) It must be employed when you are significantly behind as it much improves your circumstances. The best locations for anchors are near your opponent’s lower points and also on adjoining points or with one point separating them. Timing is integral for an effectual backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break apart this straight away, while your opponent is shifting their pieces home, because you don’t have any other additional pieces to shift! In this case, it is more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you can preserve your position up until your challenger gives you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a good idea to try and get your challenger to hit them in this situation!

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